Mahalia  Kluwer<br />Charlie 2015<br />black and blue ballpoint pen<br />86.7 x 76.2 cm (image), 99.0 x 77.0 cm (sheet)<br />Kew High School, Kew<br/>

Interview with StArt Up: Top Arts 2016 artist Mahalia Kluwer

What has the highlight been of Top Arts 2016?
Being honoured to have my artworks exhibited in the NGV and to be involved in the top arts process as a whole, along with meeting different people and learning about what goes on behind such exhibitions.

Do you plan to pursue a career in creative industries?
Yeah, I am studying Communication Design at RMIT and hopefully this will guide me into my desired career in graphic design and maybe even it will allow me to have a little taste of possible careers in other creative industries that are out there- perhaps like Fine Art or even Fashion, I like Fashion.

Who are your favourite artists at the moment?
I always have a hard time answering this question because I love so many different artists and designers. But… Ben Quilty and Joel Daniel Phillips in terms of painting and drawing, Leif Podhajsky in terms of designs and digital graphics and in terms of some delicious photography I would have to give it to the one and only Richard Mosse; his use of Infrared film is magnificent in terms of capturing the beauty of different untouched sceneries, especially the Congo.

What you learnt from the process of Top Arts 2016?
I learnt to make sure that you have your artworks stored properly whilst at school and at home because it will save you A LOT of drama and time before having to hand them into Top Arts, as they will hopefully not get damaged/smudged and kept away from the potentially grubby hands of year 7s….

What would you do differently if you were to do your VCE folio again?
Hmmmm… I would probably consider folio topic options more. Not that I wasn’t happy with what I chose but, there is always room for improvement and further development on everything in my opinion.

Have you been working on any creative projects since your work was accepted into Top Arts?
To be honest, I would love to be working on something big and exciting at the moment however my brain has been in serious need of cognitive rejuvenation and will not allow me to produce too many creative projects at the moment which has been frustrating, but to be expected.

What advice would you give students going into Year 12, in how to prepare for Art or Studio Art?
In terms of preparation I would say just get onto top of your knowledge on different artists, it is good to be able to randomly drop the names of artists, collaborations, magazines, publications etc when in group discussions, essays, exams and all that jazz. Also, your teacher will love it.

Do you have any reflections on your work from Year 12?
I have many reflections, some good, some bad. I’ll talk about the positives though; I enjoy humbly looking at my large biro portrait as a goal that I set out and achieved in a limited time space, and I’m pretty happy with how obnoxious I made my installation look and how classic my classmates responses were to it. They’re probably really vague answers but yeah.

Mahalia Kluwer Charlie 2015 Kew High School, Kew